The Alexander Hamilton Institute of the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) is pleased to announce a CBS special “How We Remember,” which features contributions from AHI Executive Director Robert Paquette. The episode includes a discussion of the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, where in 2015 white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine African-American congregants.
The CBS special traces the history of Emanuel AME to Denmark Vesey and other Charleston-area persons of color, who, beginning in 1817, attempted to create an independent “African Church.” Five years later, Charleston authorities convicted Vesey of masterminding a sophisticated slave insurrection. He and thirty-four slaves were executed and the African Church was dismantled. The event had a crucial impact on the political course of South Carolina to secession. Vesey’s son Robert served as architect in the rebuilding of the Church, the lineal ancestor of Emanuel AME, at the end of the Civil War.
In an award-winning book The Denmark Vesey Affair: A Documentary History (2017) Paquette and Douglas Egerton, Professor of History, Le Moyne College provide a definitive account of Vesey’s plot. Paquette and Egerton were consulted by CBS producer Jennie Kamin for the production.